Computer software is great, when it works. Sometime even my favorite program will get stuck from time to time, and not matter what I click, nothing happens. It's really annoying when a program freezes, but it's even worse if you don't know what to do about it. Luckily both Mac and PCs have a way to deal with a stuck program.
Fair warning: If a program freezes and won't let you leave, the following solution will get you out but you will lose any work that hasn't been saved. For example if you were in writing a document in Word and the software freezes, then all that work is likely gone. That's why it is a good idea to save your work and back up your computer consistently and frequently. Sometimes a program will "unstick" if you give it some time. A "force quit" is a last resort type of tip.
To Force Quit a Program on a Mac
To force quit a program on a Mac you need to open the Force Quit window one of two ways. If your mouse pointer is working, you can go to the top right corner of the screen, click on the Apple logo and choose "Force Quit" from the menu. If you can't use the mouse, then press the key combination Command-Option-Escape on your keyboard. The Force Quit Applications window will appear with a list of the programs that are running. Select the program that is frozen and then click the button marked "Force Quit."
To Force Quit a Program on a PC
To force quit a program on a PC you get to use the most famous keyboard shortcut: Control + Alt + Delete. If you are using Windows XP, the Task Manager window will appear. If you are using Vista or Windows 7, Task Manager will be among the options that appear. Click on Task Manager. In the Task Manager view you have a variety of tabs to choose from. Click on the tab marked Applications. You will now see a list of all the applications that are running and their status. To force a program to close, click on it in the list and click the button marked "End Task." You can now close this box and return to your desktop. You can restart the program that was giving you trouble and if you have developed the habit of frequently saving and backing up your work you can pick up where you left off.